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981 Winter 2019 History of Soviet and Russian Space Programs

Course number : 981 Winter 2019   
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981 Winter 2019 History of Soviet and Russian Space Programs
Monday, 11:50–1:15, Feb. 18
Instructor: James Thorne

This presentation will cover the following topics:
  •  Rocket equation derivation in 1903 by Tsiolkovsky, a Russian scientist of Polish ethnicity, who was the first to use it to calculate theoretical rocket speeds to reach earth escape velocity. How Joseph Stalin's Great Purge severely damaged Soviet rocketry progress before WWII.
  •  WWII: Soviet version of “operation paperclip” project captured German rocket engineers and V-2 drawings, eventually leading the first ICBM.
  •  Soviet space program firsts: orbits, spacewalks, lunar observations and landings, and many others.
  •  Important Soviet space failures, and the loss of the race to the moon.
  •  Apollo-Soyuz mission using the Apollo Saturn-V.
  •  Mir, the first space station, and US astronauts who visited there.
  •  History of Buran, the Russian copy of the US space shuttle.
  •  Post-Cold War history of Russian rocket and satellite programs to today.
Dr. James D. (Jim) Thorne retired from the US Air Force after a career in space technology, acquisition, and policy. He holds a BS from Purdue University and MS and PhD degrees from the Air Force Institute of Technology, all in astronautical engineering, specializing in orbital mechanics and space propulsion.

Class Details

1 Sessions
Weekly - Mon


James Thorne 

Class Fee: 


Schedule Information

Date(s) Class Days Times Location Instructor(s)
2/18/2019 - 2/18/2019 Weekly - Mon 11:50 AM - 1:15 PM Sterling, Loudoun   Map James Thorne 

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